Social Communication issues
Many of the children referred for Music Therapy in Lambeth have Autism or are on the Autistic Spectrum. Music Therapy provides a space to encourage and support interaction skills through music and can help to increase vocalisations and speech or singing. It can also help to improve eye contact, turn-taking, shared communication and self/other awareness.
Selective Mutism (SM) is a specific area of expertise and interest at MTL. Our Director -Kate Jones- is currently undertaking PhD level research in this area and has published a peer-reviewed article and a chapter in a recent books on the subject. Selective Mutism is a speech anxiety issue that Music Therapy can have a positive impact on. Providing a non-pressured therapy space for children to express themselves out loud can help to: reduce anxiety; improve confidence and emotional well-being, increase communication skills and speech. It is important that this is situated within a clear team-based approach. For more information please see our Research and Resources pages.
Children can be referred to our service for a range of emotional issues such as trauma, bereavement or attachment issues. Children sometimes find it difficult to express themselves using words and so Music Therapy aims to provide a trusting therapeutic relationship for expressing and processing difficult feelings.
Many behavioural issues have an underlying emotional basis and we would generally work with children on this premise. However, some behavioural issues may require support in providing more systematic boundaries or detailed guidance from the educational psychology team. The Music Therapist would be able to advise you and signpost you to the right service.
We often work with children with learning difficulties and will usually have a specific clinical focus such as improving communication skills or providing a space for self-expression or peer interaction.
Music Therapy has often be used to support children with physical disabilities with aims such as:
- providing a space for self-expression
- Developing peer interaction skills
- Increased motivation for physical movement and control
Specifically designed instruments, stands and digital technology can help improve access to musical self-expression.
For further information on these different areas please see our research page.